Here’s a new thought I wrote to TL the other day. I wonder whether the emotional distance between us that expanded most visibly ten years ago began to uncomfortably mirror the emotional distance that grew between me and my parents throughout elementary and secondary school, and most notably in the junior high school years. In both cases, perhaps the view that close family members had of me started to really diverge from the view I had of myself. I felt afraid, ashamed, and embarrassed to tell my parents, and later TL, of my failures, fears, and challenges, especially knowing that TL and my parents had generally thought so much more highly of me than I thought of myself. Yes, in my parents’ case, one reason I hesitated to tell them the negative aspects of my life was that I feared they could not resist their own temptation to take over, do things for me, interfere, and make it a drama about them rather than about me. With TL, perhaps I pushed her away just out of habit, in that regard.
What, if anything, can I learn from this? I’m not sure. I suppose one big lesson is to speak right up and confide in TL when I start to feel challenged, undervalued, or unsuccessful at work, or when I start to feel disappointed about myself at work. Yes, work is not the only setting where this might be relevant. I just mention it specifically because that’s where I’ve experienced this issue before.